Insurance Fraud NEWS
Doctor in Florida gets year in prison for false billing
August 19, 2017, Gainesville, FL
A Gainesville doctor convicted of 162 counts of health care fraud for false billing and using drugs not approved in the United States was sentenced Friday to effectively serve one year in prison and to pay a fine of more than $1.13 million plus restitution.
Ona Colasante, who had practices in Gainesville and Hawthorne, was convicted in May 2016 and sentenced Friday in federal court.
Colasante was ordered to serve one year and one day in prison on each count. The terms will run concurrently, said Amy Alexander, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in an email.
Also, Colasante will serve three years’ of supervised release and perform 400 hour of community service. In addition to the fine, Colasante was ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution.
The charges resulted from practices at the Colasante Clinic at 810 NW 16th Ave. and the Hawthorne Medical Center.
Colasante was indicted in April 2014 on 210 counts of health care fraud and money laundering. She was charged with submitting fraudulent claims for unnecessary tests, buying drugs from outside the U.S. not approved for use here and giving those drugs to patients without their knowledge or consent.
She was convicted of falsely billing Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, in addition to billing insurance companies for counseling, treatment and training procedures that were never performed.
Colasante’s Gainesville office was raided by authorities in 2011. In 2013, Colasante closed her practice and told The Sun, “I feel as though I can’t run the practice in the way that’s been best for patients in the past 20 years.”
“The government has misconstrued my practice as a place with a problem,” she said.
Source: The Gainesville Sun